Deferred Action: "Unlawful Presence" And "Unlawful Status"

Deferred action by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not confer lawful status on an individual. Rather, deferred action prevents an individual from accruing unlawful presence during the deferral period.

Unlawful presence is the period of time an individual is in the United States without being admitted or paroled, OR after the expiration of a period of stay granted by DHS. Unlawful presence is relevant for the purpose of determining whether the inadmissibility bars (3 year or 10 year bars) apply to an individual who departs the United States and afterwards tries to reenter.

A grant of deferred action will not place an individual in lawful status. Instead, an individual remain in unlawful status and subject to all relevant restrictions and prohibits. A grant of deferred action will prevent the individual from accruing additional unlawful presence for the duration of the deferred action period.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not intend to share the information provided in the request for deferred action with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purposes of immigration enforcement or prosecution, unless the requesting individual meets the conditions for referral to ICE ( Information provided to USCIS may be shared with other agencies, including ICE and CBP, for enforcement purposes besides removal. The information sharing policy includes information regarding the individual, the applicant's family members and guardian.

Immigration's information sharing policy may be changed, superseded or rescinded at any time without notices. Applicants should not relied upon the policy as a substantive or procedural right or benefit. If you apply for deferred action and your request is not granted USCIS will apply its policy governing the referral of cases to ICE.

If you have questions about deferred action please contact us at 888.861.4414 or

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